I’ve been struggling with a concept for some time now. Thanks to my friend Misty, I think I’m beginning to see the fog clearing.
There has been much talk in the writer community about branding, creating a distinct logo to identify yourself from others. I see my peers with fancy designs, symbols, something they identify as setting themselves apart from the crowd. Meanwhile, I am standing back here scratching my head, I don’t get it.
One author has a Celtic symbol with a phoenix, another has a Celtic knot, one has ruby-red lips dripping blood, one has a dragonfly, another a fairy. . . I don’t identify with just one symbol.
If I had to pick just one image, I don’t think readers would “get” one of those twisted trees standing on the edge of a cliff weather-beaten but still standing.
A geode comes to mind because inside a plain-looking rock are fascinating treasures. But again, this seems rather singular. I’m not a one or two-dimensional person. There are numerous facets to who I am. I don’t just write in one genre, but many. I don’t think a single symbol defines the multiplicity of aspects that go into my craft.
I look at authors I read – George R.R. Martin; Stephen King; Diana Gabaldon, Nora Roberts, Hemingway – shouldn’t your writing set you apart from others?
Do you think that C.S. Lewis or J.R.R. Tolkien discussed logos amidst the elf discussion?
“Why don’t you just use a blasted elf for your logo? Everything you write has elves in it.”
“I suppose you’d use that stupid Lion. Like that hasn’t been done a thousand times. I suppose you could use your lamp-post. OH but wait, that’s been used as well.”
“Stop mocking my lamp-post. Why wouldn’t I use Aslan? He is a symbol within himself. The allegorical king of all kings.”
“For heaven’s sakes man, move on. Can we just get back to the writing? I want to delve into the beginnings of my wizards.”
“Ugh! If it’s not elves it’s wizards. Fine. But first, let’s have a spot of tea.”
However funny it might be, I honestly don’t think they discussed logos.
But then again, I seem to be an antiquated element within my profession. I’ve worked for years on my craft. I’ve written more words than many of the published authors out there. I believe in quality first. Yes, so much to the point of perfectionism and setting my work aside because I see every flaw, every spot where I could do better.
One thing that was very difficult for me in the publishing process with Eclectic Bard Books was the cutting of the umbilical cord. I had a deadline. I spent grueling days going over my prose — fine tuning, changing, and rewriting — It came down to crunch time and I knew I had to jump. One of my fears was confirmed with one reviewer calling me on the “rushed” chapters. I wanted another week to rewrite them, add to them and have them fully baked. I knew they lacked some oomph, but that deadline was fast approaching.
It did teach me however, that at some point, you have to take a deep breath and jump. Let it go. Release it to the world to enjoy, tear apart, or ignore. This fueled my passion in a way that I had been lacking. I’ve since taken a few of my previous works from their dusty storage bins to assess how much work they will need before being released.
I’ve worked on being a better writer. I’ve worked on crafting a good story. I’ve learned about the elements that make a good story, how to string my sentences together, and how to do so using good grammar. Maybe not always great grammar, but most often it has to do with my poor typing. Yes, there are mistakes in my work as there are in most author’s works. Yes, There is always room for improvement.
I am a storyteller, a creator of fictional worlds, a teller of tall and short tales. Basically, I make up lies.
How is it that we have moved past appreciating quality works such as Lord of the Rings, The Illiad, Wuthering Heights to indulging in trashy novels such as Twilight saga and it’s Satan spawn, 50 Shades? In what society do some of the descriptions and phrases of these texts sound sexy?
“Desire pools dark and deadly in my groin.” – Dark and deadly? Does it emit some toxic secretion? No thanks.
“My inner goddess. . .” – this phrase is used so many times it isn’t even funny. My inner goddess says be original or go home.
“How could he mean so much to me in such a short time? He’s got right under my skin… literally.” – yeah, kind of like a festering splinter.
OK, enough about those. Back to my point.
Quality work should be the first step in branding yourself. Why have a platform that declares – I WRITE CRAP! What sets you apart from other writers?
Hopefully a unique voice.
Hopefully, a unique style.
Hopefully, a standard of excellence.
Be a BADASS writer that breaks the rules, pushes the boundaries, explores new horizons, dares to be themselves in a world of copycats. Work hard, do your best, and be yourself! I’m a one of a kind original masterpiece! A masterpiece that has many colors, nuances, voices, and some deep caverns that have yet to be explored.
I am indeed a dying dinosaur amidst a hoard of lemmings. The push is to get something out there, anything. Make a logo that people can associate with your name and build your platform!
You want a logo?
You want some symbolic image that people can associate with my author name?
Here you go!
Now Excuse me while I get back to writing. I have some changes to make on Valkyrie’s Curse: The Awakening from my beta reader’s comments.
Write on my friends, write on!